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Bet365 to move operations to Malta post-Brexit

Niji Narayan

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In a significant development, Bet365 has decided to move its operations to Malta from Gibraltar as soon as the UK completes its Brexit process next year, according to a report published in The Sunday Times of Malta.

Bet365, fully owned by a British family, had a revenue of €1.5 billion in 2015. The move will see about 1000 jobs relocating to Malta from Gibraltar, which will undoubtedly boost Malta’s economy.

The owners of Bet365 have already inked a sale agreement to buy a large new property in the Tigné peninsula in Sliema, which will become the new hub of its operations.

The promise of sale will come into effect as soon as Brexit materialises, and the British company is expected to pay some €70 million to buy the Sliema property.

Sources close to the gambling industry told The Sunday Times of Malta that the relocation of Bet365 to Malta would be a game changer for the island, as it is expected to create a major economic boost.

“It is not every day that 1000 well-paid employees are relocated to Malta. Apart from the fact that we are talking about the largest sports betting company in the world, with some 23 million customers, 1000 new individuals and their families looking for a place to stay for quite some time on a small island will mean significant business,” the sources said.

At the same time, the sources said that there will be a downside to this “massive relocation,” as rents for housing in the area have already started increasing drastically as rumours about the move make the rounds.”

The problems of increasing congestion and overcrowding in the Tigné area will also continue to become a major problem,” the sources added.

Bet365 has been eyeing the possibility of relocating its major operations to Malta for quite some time, and this was made more likely following the UK’s Brexit referendum, in which the electorate chose to leave the EU.

Malta has become very attractive to online gambling companies due to its low taxation regime and its membership of the EU.

Already registering three companies in 2014, Hillside (New Media Malta) plc – the operating company of the Bet365 group – acquired a remote gaming licence from the Malta Gaming Authority in 2015.

At the time, the company said that this was due to “regulatory developments in various operating territories.”

Following the UK’s Brexit vote, Hillside registered a new property management company in Malta last year, increasing its paid share capital to €12.5 million to invest in the acquisition of the property in Sliema.

Last month the company finalised its plans to transfer part of its business to Malta and registered another company, Hillside (Shared Services Malta) Ltd.

Founded by Denise Coates in 2000 in Stoke-on-Trent, the company fast developed into a multimillion-euro operation with some 3500 employees across the globe.

Apart from Gibraltar, it also operates a massive business in Australia and has a small office in Ta’ Xbiex in Malta.

The company chairman, Peter Coates, Denise Coates’s father, is also the chairman and owner of Stoke City Football Club, which this year was relegated from England’s Premier League to the Championship.

A lifelong supporter of the British Labour Party, Mr Coates is known as having donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party.

One particularly large donation coincided with the relaxation of gambling legislation and the lifting of a ban on television advertising by the UK’s Labour government in 2008.

Source: timesofmalta.com

Industry News

Microgaming Signs Distribution Agreement with Neko Games

Niji Narayan

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Microgaming Signs Distribution Agreement with Neko Games
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Microgaming has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with game design and development studio, Neko Games.

The studio’s Super Showball video bingo game is live on Microgaming’s content aggregation platform from 26 May 2020, joining hundreds of new games being added throughout the year by the supplier’s diverse roster of exclusive independent studios and content partners.

“Video bingo games are particularly popular in LATAM, and the team at Neko Games have done a tremendous job with their debut title, Super Showball. We are pleased to welcome the studio to our content aggregation platform and look forward to working with them on further diversifying our portfolio for Microgaming customers worldwide,” Leon Thomas, Commercial Director of Microgaming, said.

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Eastern Europe

ORYX Gaming secures deal with Superbet in Romania

George Miller

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ORYX Gaming secures deal with Superbet in Romania
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ORYX Gaming, a Bragg Gaming Group company, has struck a distribution deal with leading Romanian operator Superbet.

The agreement will give Superbet access to ORYX’s RGS library including proprietary ORYX content and titles from partnered studios such as Gamomat, Kalamba Games, Golden Hero and Givme Games, as well as newly-added CandleBets.

Via a single integration, the operator will also gain full access to ORYX Hub’s extensive library of 8,000+ casino games from 80+ premium providers as well as proprietary marketing and player engagement tools, such as real-time in-game tournaments and leaderboards.

Superbet operates an extensive retail network in Romania and launched its online brand in 2016.

The deal will see ORYX further bolster its presence in Romania where its casino offering has been proven popular with players of its operator partners, including Stanleybet, NetBet, PublicWin, GameWorld and Unibet.

ORYX is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN) and its content is certified or approved in 16 major jurisdictions.

Matevz Mazij, Managing Director of ORYX Gaming, said: “Going live with one of the most valuable operators in Romania is a strong statement for us and I am positive that this partnership will be very fruitful both in Romania and other markets that Superbet is planning to expand into.”

Adam Shaw, Online Managing Director of Superbet, said: “We want to provide our customers with the best casino experience through a variety of content. ORYX has a localised approach to games and a fantastic reputation for delivery of top quality games together with player engagement tools.

“We very much look forward to bringing the Superbet player base access to the wide range of content they offer, and we’re delighted to be working with them.”

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Industry News

OneTouch transports players to Neon 2077

George Miller

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OneTouch transports players to Neon 2077
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Mobile-first games developer unveils latest futuristic offering

Mobile-first games developer OneTouch is giving players a glimpse into the future with the launch of cyberpunk release Neon 2077.

Featuring out-of-this-world graphics, only those interested in transporting to a futuristic universe packed with new age themed symbols and a love of techno sound effects need apply.

This 5×1 horizontal reel offering challenges players to match the bonus symbols with any of the symbols above it, with blanks in the main reel also filled with the bonus symbol.

Bonus Reel symbols are also counted as game symbols and when combined offer the potential to win big, giving players several chances to make their future a winning one.

Ollie Castleman, Head of Marketing, OneTouch, said: “We are always looking to push the boundaries in slot innovation, and we have demonstrated that with Neon 2077.

“This latest game is sure to appeal both to traditional players who love the neon theme from a bygone era, as well as players who enjoy social gaming and highly evolved slots.”

OneTouch is rapidly becoming one of the most trusted and recognised suppliers across all major markets and has recently announced a number of high-profile operator deals.

Its full range of slots and classic table games can be played at www.onetouch.io.

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